Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, has been diagnosed in more and more children every year. While it may be tempting to conclude this is the sign of some wider problem, what has contributed to many of these diagnoses have been improvements in testing and screening. Medical professionals and care providers now have a better understanding than ever before of what autism looks like and how it can be treated. Yet parents of a child with ASD may wonder what’s the best course of treatment for their child. Also, it’s understandable to wonder if early intervention is enough for autism care. While there is always new information about ASD, the current consensus is that early intervention is vital in helping children and families cope and be successful in society.
Identifying ASD and Benefits of Early Intervention
For the vast majority of children, a diagnosis of ASD doesn’t happen until they are between three and four years old. However, through early intervention starting around 12-18 months of age, a child’s condition can improve greatly. But what are the symptoms or indicators that allow parents to know if their child may have ASD? Some of the warning signs may include:
- Not engaging in pretend play
- Not making eye contact
- Resistance or hostility to being held
- Repeating specific actions over and over
- Repeating specific, limited number of works over and over
- Rarely responding to their name
After noticing these signs, parents should inquire about early intervention programs like the one offered at Ascend Autism.Early intervention is known to provide the best chance for development and optimal outcomes. Because early intervention is so useful, finding a treatment provider and program is immensely valuable. At Ascend Autism, we advise parents and families on what their next course of action should be. We develop a comprehensive plan zeroing in on each child’s unique needs. For instance, a child may have behavioral issues and need the help of a specific preschool program, or a child might need occupational therapy for sensory issues or language delays. This holistic approach sets up children for success.
Is Early Intervention Enough for Autism Care?
There is no cure for ASD. However, early intervention helps children develop the basic skills they need to succeed in school and society. For example, work in early intervention programs commonly allows children to develop the following skills:
- Physical skills
- Thinking skills
- Communication skills
- Social skills
- Emotional skills
Furthermore, early intervention allows a family to learn what they need to know to address the condition. Often, ASD brings challenges not just to the child, but to parents, siblings, and extended family. Early intervention gives caregivers and loved ones the resources, knowledge, and time necessary to start to develop and employ the necessary coping skills to live with the condition in their child or children. But given the short duration of early intervention services, it cannot be the only form of treatment.
Therefore when we ask ‘Is early intervention enough for autism care?’ the clear answer is ‘no.’ It’s not the end of treatment. Rather, it’s the beginning, the means of laying down the necessary groundwork, so as a child ages, they are better able to seamlessly live their lives. Thus, finding the right program to work with is vital. At Ascend Autism, we understand the synergy between addressing the needs of the child with ASD and the needs of the family facing it. Our unique and experienced approach threads the needle giving all parties involved, not just the depth of understanding they need, but the practical skills they will use.
As the parent or loved one of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it’s natural to wonder what interventions should be utilized to assist your child. ASD is challenging for both the child and the family. However, approaching the condition early, educating oneself, and developing the techniques and coping mechanism necessary sets a foundation for success. Ascend Autism has the programs and expertise to get early intervention underway and provide ongoing therapies after early intervention services conclude. We offer an array of services for treating autism spectrum disorder and commit ourselves to help children and families cope. For instance, we offer the following: